The Shadow of Indebtedness: Bridewealth and Norms Constraining Female Reproductive Autonomy

Christine Horne, F. Nii Amoo Dodoo, Naa D. Dodoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bridewealth is fundamental to marriage in Africa. Anthropological research provides substantial information regarding characteristics of the bridewealth transaction, but scholars and policymakers know little about its consequences for women in contemporary Africa. We argue that the payment of bridewealth strengthens normative constraints on women's autonomy in the reproductive domain. We test and find support for our argument using a unique vignette experiment conducted with rural women in the Volta Region of Ghana.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-520
Number of pages18
JournalAmerican sociological review
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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